The politics of abortion


The tactical astuteness of Fine Gael TDs opposed to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill is impressive. Rather than confront Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a single, explosive challenge to his leadership, they have eked out their resistance in the hope of securing legislative amendments or, at least, the prospect of early party forgiveness. By staggering their challenge, they have sought to minimise the offence created. Any doubt has been removed by already expelled individuals who insist they are not members of a cabal and who aspire to represent Fine Gael in the future. While the Bill is being debated, the scale of eventual opposition remains uncertain. On the basis of a recent Irish Times opinion poll, which showed general Fine Gael support for legislation at 79 per cent and opposition at 16 per cent, the defecting deputies could number between six and nine. Public opinion, however, is not always reflected in the pattern of Dáil voting. The tyranny of the party whip and the prospect of expulsion and career damage are powerful conditioning factors while, on the other hand, a free vote encourages outside interests to apply pressure and for TDs to engage in vote-poaching at constituency level. How else to explain the Fianna Fáil vote? Party leader Micheál Martin showed a deal of courage when he spoke in favour of the Government Bill and said it would provide necessary protection for the lives of women and fulfil Constitutional and international requirements. Having secured a free vote, however, his colleagues opted for traditional opposition tactics and 13 out of 19 voted against the measure. If opinion within Fianna Fáil is taken as a template, no more than four TDs should have rejected the Bill on the grounds of conscience. Their actions appear to have been an attempt to target unhappy Fine Gael, Labour Party and Sinn Féin voters while, at the same time, signalling concern with Mr Martin’s style of leadership. Willie O’Dea was quick to declare his support for Mr Martin, even as he struggled to explain his position on the legislation. A Second Stage vote is normally regarded as being on the principles of a Bill. Mr O’Dea supported the principles of the Bill but voted against it, explaining that if a review clause was introduced at a later stage he might change his mind. An equally unconvincing approach was adopted by European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton and by a number of her Fine Gael colleagues. They rejected the principles underlying the Bill but voted for it on the grounds that it might be amended. Support for this legislation is remarkably uniform across all political parties. When Catholic Church pressure failed to ramp up Fine Gael defections, a majority of Fianna Fáil TDs went in search of disaffected voters. It’s what drives politics.

Via

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/the-politics-of-abortion-1.1451645

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About Old Boy

Love the past and the future but live in the present

Posted on July 7, 2013, in Catholic, Government, Health, Ireland, politics, Religion, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. That is interesting. But what is your opinion?

    • That is a question that puts me on the spot. My heart says no. However I do not allow the heart to rule the head.
      Definitely would allow abortion if the mothers life is threatened.
      Woman should have the right to choose and to make that choice abortion must be available
      Standing back from the debate both pro and anti groups appear to be ruled by Dogma of one kind or another and that I do not like.

      • Thank you for the reply. You do know that a woman’s life is ALWAYS in danger when pregnant?

      • I know what your saying. What was on my mind as I wrote that was the Savita case in Galway.That case infuriated me and still does. I also know that the whole thing will be swept under the carpet.The one glimmer of optimism I see in this is that the husband will take an action against the state.

      • I’m about to be tired of that Norman bunch still deciding who gets what … land and children and which children and how many children, and which children get what and wives being a mere vehicle of distribution. That is the politics and economics of family planning in Ireland. And because (wasn’t it Cromwell?) cut a deal with the Popes and pushed morality nonsense, the rest of the Christian world had to take a stand, too. (It did take a lot longer for the continental Europe to stop using condoms and diaphragms ….. originally used with camels) And so dogma was created to justify policy, inheritance policy, which was easier to use to subjugate the fiercely independent but highly moral and spiritual Irish. Teach said dogma to children for centuries and what do you get? You get how it is now. And the Pale is permanently breeched. Just my opinion

      • You are right in what you say. Not sure about Cromwell as far as I can recall it was William of Orange that got the nod from the fellow in the funny hat which is just as ironic.

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